Friday, November 26, 1999
you, Lord, for a lot of things this Thanksgiving
By LEE N. HOWELL
We may only do it once a year and that is certainly not enough but once a year is better than never at all.
So, as another Thanksgiving Day comes upon us, let us all pause and say a sincere and grateful prayer of thanksgiving and appreciation for what we have been given and maybe for what we have avoided during the past year of our lives.
For starters, we can be thankful that our Creator God be he a Father, or she a Mother, or whatever has given each of us the breath of life and has created such a beautiful world for us to inhabit.
Now, some of us may have a few more aches and pains afflicting us than we had in the past and we may have health problems (many of them of our own making), but we are alive and that is better than the alternative.
Sure, our world is not perfect; certainly, the people in Turkey might wish the ground would not shake so much; but, it is ours and so much better than we deserve.
Thank you, Lord, for life itself and our surroundings.
Then, each of us should be thankful for our families immediate or extended and our network of friends and associates.
After all, it is our parents who gave us birth, and our children who will continue on after we have gone in the ways that we raised them.
Our family and friends have nurtured us all, helping build us into the people we have become.
Thank you, Lord, for family and friends.
There are those for whom we do not care much and, each of us in our most secret moments, can make a list of those we would call enemies.
They are the people with whom we disagree and who seek to prevent us from achieving our dreams and ambitions.
Sometimes, they are the ones who ask those embarrassing questions and help keep us straight.
Thank you, Lord, for our enemies.
Of course, in this materialistic world which we inhabit, we must be thankful for those possessions we have amassed, the things which we sometimes seem to believe is what life is all about.
We realize that someday we will have to leave them behind unless we are like that woman we heard about over in McDonough who requested in her will that her pet dog be put to sleep upon her death so they could be buried together but while we are here, we enjoy what we have been blessed to receive.
And, we know, as the Good Book teaches us, it is not money and possessions but the love of those material things which is the root of all evil.
Thank you, Lord, for our possessions.
Also. we are thankful for those things which have not befallen us in this year most recently gone by.
We are thankful that we are not in a major war, we are thankful that our growing economic system has not collapsed, and we are thankful that no natural or man-made disaster has crippled our country.
Thank you, Lord, for helping us avoid all those dire things which could have happened.
And, finally, we are thankful that we live in a land and a time where there is the possibility of having an optimistic hope for the future.
We are thankful that we can pray that our children will have it better than we did and have a chance of seeing that prayer answered.
Thank you, Lord, for hope especially when that seems to be all we have.
[Lee N. Howell is an award-winning writer who has been observing politics and society in the Southern Crescent, the state, and nation for the past 25 years.]